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>>caption: A SUNDAY TAJ McMILESTONE<<
@ PALACE OF AUBURN HILLS:
Wins have been uncommonly rare for the defending
WNBA Champion Shock this season, but Sunday evening
Detroit ran past visiting San Antonio 99-84 to get their
second victory in as many days.
Veteran Katie Smith led the way with her season-high and
the game-high of 31-P on 10-of-15 shooting including her
season-high of six triples (in nine attempts). Smith also led
Detroit to its 76-67 come-from-behind Saturday night road win
at Chicago with a team-high 17-P.
The Silver Stars never led Sunday by more than a single
point, Detroit never trailed after halftime and the Shock scored
their season-high of 99-P against the team they swept in last
year's WNBA Finals.
Detroit turned Sunday's contest into a rout when they expanded their 45-36 intermission
advantage to an 18-P bulge.
Sunday, Alexis Hornbuckle helped out Smith with her career-game of 14-P plus a game-
high of 7-A. Taj McWilliams had 13-P with a co-game-high 7-RB and her 3rd-Qtr seven-footer made
McWilliams just the 10th player in WNBA history to reach 4,000 career points. WNBA Rookie-
of-the-Year candidate Shavonte Zellous also added 13-P. Deanna Nolan scored 9-P and grabbed
a co-game-high 7-RB while adding 6-A.
Sheila Young led the Stars with 19-P, but had her four-game string of 20-P or more points
snapped by McWilliams' defensive effort. Ann Wauters added 18-P, Becky Hammon 14-P and
Belinda Snell 13-P for San-An.
The 11-14 Shock still trail both Chicago and Washington by two in the win column.
Only one of those three teams will be able to secure the fourth and final playoff spot
in the Eastern Conference. Time is running out as the Shock have just nine games
remaining in which to hurdle two teams in the post-season hunt. Detroit does play
the Sky twice, but have already finished their season series vs the Mystics.
SHOCK H-COACH RICK MAHORN: "Katie Smith, right now she’s been a horse.
She’s been playing good basketball. Last night she played well and tonight she
really gave us a big lift with all those points...Taj McWilliams set the tone
defensively against Sophia Young. Sophia Young is such a great and explosive
player...Big weekend, we got two wins, that we desperately needed. It was a
good win from winning a conference game at Chicago and then coming to win
at home. It gets us on a little roll. Hopefully we can go into Connecticut with
the same philosophy and set the tone defensively.”
SHOCK FWD KATIE SMITH: "We dug ourselves a hole (in the standings)...
Hopefully we’ll make this thing exciting going down the stretch. We still have
a lot of work to do if we want to even sniff the playoffs and that’s not even a
for-sure thing depending on what other people do.”
SHOCK FWD TAJ McWILLIAMS: "It's a great feeling to know with all the great
players that have come and gone in this league you have to stand strong in
order to score 4,000 points. I have been injury-free for most of my career and
in order to play in enough games, because I'm not a terrific scorer, it's about
perseverance and scoring when you need to score. It's pretty amazing to know
that I was able to do this as a Shock player.”
The Shock bounce all around the map in a hectic upcoming week with a
Tuesday night road game at Connecticut, a Thursday evening home contest vs
Atlanta and a Saturday matinee rematch with the Silver Stars at San Antonio.
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